Former Saints quarterback Drew Brees is fine after apparently getting struck by lightning. Because he didn’t get struck by lightning at all.
“I just texted Drew Brees,” tweeted Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com. “He said he’s good and that he did not get struck by lightning.”
That’s a relief.
So now here’s the question. Was Brees extremely fortunate to not be struck by lightning during an actual lightning strike, or was the whole thing fake?
If it was fake (as many now believe), Brees and PointsBet deserve every bit of criticism that they’re about to experience. Thousands of people die from lightning strikes every year. It’s in questionable taste to use it as a platform for a marketing campaign. Also, if this was all a stunt, it included making plenty of friends, fans, former teammates, and acquaintances of Brees spend a portion of Friday morning fearful that he had been seriously injured or killed.
We know PointsBet is struggling, relative to other sports books. But if the whole thing was staged, this is absolutely not the way to thrust its brand back into a degree of relevance that it never really had. And Brees will take a hit, as he should, for being a party to the staging of a near-death experience.